CSE 440 AU13 - Introduction to HCI

Instructors: Morgan Dixon & Katie Kuksenok
TAs: Melissa Richtarik & Alyssa Trinh

Class Time and Location

Tuesday and Thursday, 10:30 - 11:50 AM

EEB 037

Studio Time and Location

Tuesday, 4:00 - 5:00 PM   OR   Friday, 5:00 - 6:00 PM

CSE 503

NOTE:  Studio time will be held in CSE 303 on Tuesday, October 15

NOTE:  Studio time will be held in the CSE breakout area on the 4th floor on both Tuesday, October 22 and Friday, October 25

Lecture & Homework Calendar

By popular demand, the calendar is posted on a separate page.


This course provides an introduction to the design process central to HCI as a field of study and a work practice. Students are expected to participate by reading assigned materials, contributing to class discussion, and completing small assignments as well as a large group term project. At the end of the course, students will be able iteratively design and prototype an interactive application, which includes performing task analysis, paper prototyping, heuristic evaluation, and peer critique.


This year's project theme is .... drumroll .... PERSONAL INFORMATICS. You and your group will design and evaluate an application that incorporates the data acquisition of a person's daily life. The inputs to your system might include data such as food consumed, places traveled, modes of transportation taken, quality of surrounding air, exercise habits, mood, blood oxygen levels, mental performance, and anything else that you believe is important for your application. You will design an end-to-end solution, addressing both how the data is acquired, but primarily focusing on how the data is used. You can choose to either focus on a mobile interface or a web interface, depending on the scenarios in which your application will be used.

Here are some examples of existing personal informatics applications, just to give you an idea of what already exists. However, keep in mind that you will be expected to come up with novel applications that have never been designed before. Also, these applications are constrained by the capabilities of current technology. We encourage you to look to the future, thinking about what will be possible 5, 10, ... 50 years from now!

We will provide a PDF with all of the project specifications in the calendar section below.


This course will be based on several small assignments, a group term project, and an exam.

Class discussions should be informal and enjoyable, as it is important that everybody feel comfortable commenting and offering their insight. The participation component of grading in this course will be based on active participation in discussion throughout the course.

There will also be readings posted before some classes. I will expect you to have read and thought carefully about any readings before that class.

The grading scheme is as follows:

Individual Assignments

There will be several short individual assignments throughout the term. These must not be conducted in groups. This includes the project proposals that are released during the first class.

Term Projects

The bulk of this course is the project, where you will apply the ideas and methods of user interface design. In this project, you will:

Discussion Forum

You may discuss your projects or other assignments here.


CollectIt Submission

Submit homework and projects here.


Anonymous Feedback

I encourage you to feel comfortable discussing any aspects of this class with both myself and the TA. I am also happy to provide a mechanism for anonymous feedback:


Recommended Resources

There is an interminable amount of splendid reading material on the theory and practice of HCI, and design in general. In this class, we expect you to read the focused selections speficied in the schedule below. We believe the following list of resources to be also be useful, as optional readings during the course and as reference after its conclusion.